France

Claude Chabrol – La femme infidèle AKA The Unfaithful Wife (1969)

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Charles Desvalles (Michel Bouquet) becomes suspicious that his wife Helene (Stephane Audran) is having an affair. Charles hires a private detective who comes up with the
name of Victor Pegala (Maurice Ronet) and then goes off to confron his wife’s lover. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – L’Ivresse du pouvoir AKA A Comedy of Power (2006)

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AMG: Claude Chabrol’s Comedy of Power stars Isabelle Huppert as a French judge who attempts to bring down the very powerful but corrupt CEO of a large corporation. As she digs deeper into the case, she uncovers criminal activity that stretches into the highest levels of government, and her life is turned upside down by death threats as well as her sudden celebrity. The film follows as her career affects her family. Loosely based on real events, Comedy of Power had its North American debut at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Read More »

Jacques Feyder – Le grand jeu AKA The Great Game AKA The Full Deck (1934)

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Synopsis:
Pierre (Pierre Richard-Willm), a young lawyer, has enormous debts due to his mistress Florence (Marie Bell), and her whims of luxury life. Pierre has gone too far and put the family firm in jeopardy. They ask him to expatriate. To avoid scandal, Pierre joins the Foreign Legion. In Morocco, near the desert, Pierre goes with his comrades of the Legion to a bar-restaurant-brothel, owned by a shady character, Mr. Clement (Charles Vanel). Clement lives more or less with Ms.Blanche (Françoise Rosay) who is a fortune teller with cards, as a hobby. But Clement is also after his girls now and then. Pierre is still obsessed with Florence but he meets Irma (Marie Bell), one of Clement’s girls, who is the double of Florence except for hair color. Irma has had an accident and has lost part of her memory at a certain point of her recent past, and Pierre slowly persuades himself she is Florence, but cannot remember it. Advised by Ms.Blanche, Irma finally accepts to act as if she was Florence because she is falling in love with Pierre. Near the end of his contract with the Legion, Pierre receives news from France. He has inherited a fortune. He asks Irma to come to France with him, and they make plans. But Clement tries to rape Irma and Pierre has to kill him. Read More »

Michel Gondry – La science des rêves Version B AKA The Science of Sleep [Version B] (2006)

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Quote:
A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Quote:
Michel Gondry assembles alternate version of his The Science of Sleep
from cut scenes and B-roll footage. Read More »

Moshé Mizrahi – Les stances à Sophie AKA Sophie’s Ways (1971)

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Quote:
The presences of the exemplary Nouvelle Vague icons Bernadette Lafont and Bulle Ogier in the female lead roles notwithstanding, what cachet 1971’s Les Stances a Sophie has accrued over the years is largely extra-cinematical. Its soundtrack, composed and performed by the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago … was for many years a much sought-after item among contemporary jazz fans, and with excellent reason. Like many free-music pioneers, the Art Ensemble decamped to Paris in the late ’60s, where there was both a larger and more welcoming audience for its work and at least one pioneering record label (BYG …) throwing studio time at any number of adventurous artists. The Ensemble’s work for this soundtrack finds them folding classical themes and contemporary soul stylings into its already effortlessly eclectic and daring musical bag. “Theme de Yoyo,” with Bass declaiming a critique of the battle of the sexes that’s a raw counterpoint to some of the more politely limned tensions playing out in the film at that point, is an ever-bracing piece that suggests all sorts of post-Brechtian possibilities for movie music—possibilities that really haven’t been too thoroughly explored since. It’s also pretty killer when listened to entirely on its own. Read More »

Rithy Panh – La France est Notre Patrie (2015)

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Quote:
La France est notre Patrie (English: France Is Our Mother Country) is a 2015 Cambodian-French film directed by Rithy Panh. This latest film of the director is a story of a failed encounter between two cultures, two sensitivities, two realms of imagination: an encounter which resulted in a colonization not exempt from brutality while it could have avoided wars, chaos and destruction. Primarily based on extracts of archive film shot mainly in Indochina in the early twentieth century until the fall of Dien Bien Phu, this film is a continuation of a cinematographic reflection about time, memory and looking. Read More »

Nelly Kaplan – La Fiancée du pirate AKA A Very Curious Girl (1969)

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Quote:
“In a tightly knit rural community, Marie and her mother are outcasts, living in a small wood cabin. Marie is exploited and abused by both her employer, a lesbian landowner, and her oversexed male neighbours, who include the town’s mayor and a seemingly respectable shopkeeper. When her mother is killed in a road accident, Marie decides it is time to turn the tables on her tormenters. She starts to make them pay for her sexual favours, and, thanks to her innate talent for seduction, she soon becomes the wealthiest person in the area. In the end, her neighbours decide that Marie is a corrupting influence and contrive to have her forced out of the village. Marie, however, intends to have the last laugh…” Read More »